- Google Chrome’s new URL inspector feature checks for typos in URLs and suggests the correct website, helping users avoid error messages, broken links, scams, and phishing sites.
- The feature uses autocomplete suggestions based on keywords to predict the website users are trying to search for, making web navigation easier and reducing the need for extensive Google searches.
- This feature improves user safety by reducing the chances of landing on fake or malicious websites that can steal data, as cybercriminals often use similar domain names to trick users. It also benefits those with reading or typing difficulties and minimizes connection errors.
URLs are central in guiding users to websites and specific web pages. However, users can make mistakes when typing out URLs, leading to unintended results and finding themselves somewhere completely different, resulting in error messages, broken links, or, at worse, scams and phishing sites.
Now, your days of inputting or fudging the wrong URL are over as Google rolls out its new URL inspector for Chrome.
How Google Chrome’s URL Typo Feature Works
Google announced on its official blog, The Keyword, that as part of an accessibility update, Google Chrome now has a new feature that inspects URLs in the search and address bar for any typos and suggests the website it believes you are trying to search for.
The feature, first announced in May 2023 for desktops and also available on iOS and Android, makes it easier for users to navigate the web with limited web searches.
Using Chrome on a desktop or mobile, the browser provides autocomplete suggestions based on the proper website, not misspelled domains. Instead of guessing the URL you’re typing, the feature predicts websites based on the keywords you input.
For example, if you type in “flights,” Google may think you want to go to Google Flights. The search engine originally suggested search queries that included the word.
Depending on what you type, Google Chrome can search your bookmarks for sites and files based on what you’re searching for. In other words, the feature is based on your browsing history and bookmarks, meaning that the browser is becoming more personalized.
You can directly access popular websites by selecting their URL from the list of suggestions. While this can be beneficial, it may result in users conducting fewer Google searches daily.
How Does Google Chrome’s URL Typo Feature Keep You Safe?
The feature’s main benefit for regular folks is that it reduces the chance of incorrect URLs directing users to fake and malicious websites that could steal their data.
Cybercriminals can use near-identical domain names to the real ones (known as typosquatting) to trick users into accessing the website by mistake and potentially fall for a phishing scam. Some users might mistake the scam site for the real one due to the similar interface and URL. It follows Google’s plan to change its padlock icon for security reasons. In addition, Google announced updates to its Live Caption feature with real-time transcription via the screen reader and the addition of a wheelchair-accessible icon in Google Maps.
Another benefit is that since Google is embracing AI with its Search Generative Experience, it’s more expensive for Google to query large language models to obtain answers. A feature like this could reduce navigational searches, which can benefit Google.
It is a valuable tool not just for those who have problems with reading or typing but for anyone who makes typos, especially websites that use specific spelling.
In addition to this feature, Google tweaked the Omnibox’s visual layout to make it quicker to load and easier to read.
But with Google appearing to increase the value of the address bar and suggested results, will this downplay the significance of the search results page in Google Chrome?
Say Goodbye to URL Typos
Google Chrome’s URL typo feature will improve the user experience and reduce the number of typos, serving as a safety net and preventing entry to possibly dangerous websites. Thankfully, users can browse the web and visit websites they manually enter with ease and minimal chance of connection errors and entering fake websites.
Chrome’s URL typo feature is already available and may have protected you from landing on a dodgy site already!